GOP Thinks They Have Election Gold With Health Care and IRS Scandal

Health care and Obama administration scandal provides fodder for NRCC.


The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee is taking aim at vulnerable Democrats, including Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

By + More

The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee is tying two GOP election dynamite sticks to one another and hoping they ignite a 2014 congressional election that is all about health care and the scandals within the Obama administration.

The GOP campaign group rolled out a series of "mobile ads" against vulnerable Democrats including Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.; Ron Barber, D-Ariz.; Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.; and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., this week that not only linked members to the Affordable Care Act, but also tried to connect them to the IRS, which has been embroiled in scandal over the last few weeks.

The agency admitted two weeks ago that it had improperly scrutinized Tea Party groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.

[RELATED: IRS Witness Pleads Fifth, Leaves Questions Unanswered]

The GOP is trying to drum up public outrage over the fact that the IRS will be tasked with carrying out several provisions of the health care law, including verifying that taxpayers have health care and sticking them with a fine if they do not. Instead of traditional television or radio spots, however, the NRCC will deploy a group of logo-studded trucks to travel the lawmakers's districts this week.

"I think you get more bang for your buck using the mobile board instead of a static one so it can drive around. It is a great way to get voters' attention and it is not something you see everyday so I think it draws attention to your message," says Andrea Bozek, the spokesman for the NRCC.

Obamacare, which helped the GOP kick House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the curb in 2010, is as visible as ever as implementation unfolds in the coming months and the NRCC says it is hoping to capitalize on what they predict will be a messy process.

While many of the members being targeted like Barber were not around to vote for the historic health legislation in 2010, they voted against the GOP-led repeal efforts to undo the law since then.

[READ: Repairing a Shaky Trust]

And public opinion on the Affordable Care Act may indicate that the GOP can appeal to a split and confused electorate.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 40 percent of Americans are not even aware that Obama's landmark legislation is still the law of the land and more than 50 percent would like opponents to keep trying to block or change the law entirely.

"Anytime voters are confused about an issue, it means that there is an opening to highlight the negative aspects of the situation," Bozek says. "When you already have the American public frustrated and concerned about a massive takeover of their health care, it will be a big determinate issue come 2014."

But Democrats say they have potent explosives of their own.

The party has launched ads against vulnerable Republicans painting them as on the side of big insurance companies for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unleashed online advertising campaigns against 10 members who they say wasted tax payer money by helping House Republicans vote against the Affordable Care Act more than 35 times.

"If House Republicans had their way, women would go back to being charged more just for being women, Americans would go back to being denied care if they were already sick, and tax credits for small businesses would end," Jesse Ferguson, the spokesman for the DCCC said in a released statement.

More News: